Do you Analyze the Source of Your Readership

Readership - Where does it come from?

The fol­low­ing are the sta­tis­tics of where I have my read­er­ship has come from over the past 3 months:

Breaking it down


Facebook, Social mediaI reg­u­lar­ly check my sta­tis­tics and know they have changed over time. After the site stat­ed the sole source of my read­er­ship was Face­book, Twit­ter, and Google Plus.

Face­book is, of-course, the largest social net­work in the world with some­where near 2 bil­lion mem­bers world­wide. Experts say to make best use of the site your posts should excite and be rel­e­vant to your net­work. Include pic­tures and a hash­tag as well.


Being Noticed by Google


Google SearchWhen you start your blog you will have too few pages for search engines to notice you exist. This is true, even if you imple­ment the Google Ana­lyt­ics plug-in for your site. Hav­ing built this site from the first post it has been by mon­i­tor­ing my sta­tis­tics that I know that I had neg­li­gi­ble traf­fic attrib­uted to search engines before reach­ing 50 pages on this site. This is an expe­ri­ence I have also observed with blogs I have cre­at­ed for clients.

I could find my pages by title or key word, but was not able to gain any traf­fic through search­es. The spe­cial­ist nature of this site, being focused on writ­ing and blog­ging, may explain this, but I believe it has more to do with reach­ing a crit­i­cal mass and being tak­en seri­ous­ly by search engines.

One thing it is also pos­si­ble to find with Google Search­es is some idea of geo­graph­i­cal loca­tion. Expand out the report and you can see the localised search engine. Mine include read­er­ship from USA, Cana­da, Israel, Czech Repub­lic, Unit­ed Arab Emi­rates, UK, India, Indone­sia, Brazil, Nor­way, and oth­er loca­tions around the globe.

Anoth­er aspect of search is the use of images. Ensure that you doc­u­ment the image using the “Alt Text” for all the images you use. This has two roles. If the image can­not be dis­played because of a tech­ni­cal dif­fi­cul­ty then this alter­na­tive text is dis­played instead. Sec­ond­ly it pro­vides search engines a method to search the images you use on your site. Image search will bring in the occa­sion­al reader.


Role of Social Networks


Twitter BirdAccord­ing to these sta­tis­tics approx­i­mate­ly 65% of my traf­fic comes from post­ing on Social Media. It proves that writ­ers have to con­sid­er the val­ue of social sites, like Face­book, Twit­ter, Google Plus, and oth­ers as a means of pub­lic­i­ty. I have also includ­ed Live​.com in this list as it is loose­ly asso­ci­at­ed with the social activ­i­ty of your Microsoft account. Remem­ber your mood may impact your how you inter­act on social sites but they are your prin­ci­ple pub­lic­i­ty engine.

For your infor­ma­tion Linkis is a  link cus­tomiza­tion ser­vice for boost­ing social pres­ence, asso­ci­at­ed with Twit­ter, so I have includ­ed this with­in social net­work traffic.

You may valid­ly ask how come LinkedIn is not includ­ed on my list? There is a sim­ple answer — I don’t believe the tar­get audi­ence mem­bers for this site are not includ­ed in my LinkedIn con­tact list. Remem­ber each social net­work has a slight­ly dif­fer­ent focus. Con­sid­er who is a part of that net­work ver­sus who is in your tar­get audi­ence. LinkedIn gen­er­ates larg­er read­er­ship for oth­er sites I work on.


Links from other Blogs/Sites


shar like data web blogOne of the great­est forms of flat­tery is to have oth­ers men­tion you. I have always been an advo­cate of pro­vid­ing links to oth­er sites from whom you find use­ful stuff (infor­ma­tion, data, quotes, etc.).

To have oth­ers pro­vide links to your site can occur in many ways. The most valu­able is to have anoth­er site men­tion your con­tent. There are, of course, plen­ty of ways to cross pro­mote your work, per­haps by writ­ing guest posts on anoth­er site. The most effec­tive is always hav­ing oth­er writ­ers pro­vide un-prompt­ed links.

SEO spe­cial­ists, like Neil Patel, of Quick­Sprout, say that the mot effec­tive way to gen­er­ate in-bound links to your mate­r­i­al is by pro­vid­ing out­bound links to oth­er people’s work. I agree it is an impor­tant method, espe­cial­ly link­ing to those sites you reg­u­lar­ly vis­it. When com­bined with com­ment­ing on oth­er people’s sites it brings rec­i­p­ro­cal traf­fic. You com­ment on their site and they spend a lit­tle time look­ing at yours (espe­cial­ly if they have an inter­est in the mate­r­i­al you offer). Per­haps you will cause them to cri­tique some­thing you have writ­ten and this new piece, because of the link, brings with it traf­fic. It may require you to gen­er­ate forty out­bound links to bring one inbound link, but each inbound link is pre­cious and should be treat­ed with respect.

Anoth­er asso­ci­at­ed method of gain­ing traf­fic is Gra­vatar (a ser­vice for pro­vid­ing glob­al­ly recog­nised avatars), when you leave a com­ment. These avatars are glob­al­ly recog­nised because mil­lions of web­sites use them to iden­ti­fy users. You should spend time cre­at­ing a good Gra­vatar pro­file, a pro­file that will help peo­ple under­stand just who you are and what web­sites you use.


Stumble Upon and Social Bookmarking sites


I do reg­u­lar­ly add mate­r­i­al to Stum­ble­Upon, Red­dit, Del​.icio​.us, Digg and oth­er social book­mark­ing sites. The role of social book­mark­ing is to flag pages you like to oth­er peo­ple shar­ing your tastes. I have found them to pro­vide a con­sis­tent small vol­ume of traf­fic, this quar­ter it was Stum­ble­Upon that pro­vid­ed the links, the pre­vi­ous quar­ter it was Red­dit. Mon­i­tor­ing this over sev­er­al years (for sev­er­al sites I man­age) I notice traf­fic comes in waves then not at all for months on end. But you should ignore social book­mark­ing at your peril.

Even though they only rep­re­sent­ed 2% of the traf­fic this quar­ter you should not ignore the impact they can bring. 2% of 1,000 read­ers is 20 peo­ple, these are 20 peo­ple that could be pre­cious to you.


WordPress and Blogger


If you have cre­at­ed a blog through either Word­Press or Blog­ger there is a small per­sis­tent social impact from hav­ing an up-to-date pro­file with vis­i­ble links. Oth­er Word­Press blog­gers who fol­low your site, auto­mat­i­cal­ly, get noti­fi­ca­tions when you pub­lish a new page. The recent posts from all the sites you fol­low are avail­able on your Word­Press Read­er, where you can look at sites you fol­low, dis­cov­er con­tents from rec­om­mend­ed sites or search for content.

The ben­e­fit may only be occa­sion­al, but it is worth hav­ing. Make sure your pro­file is up-to-date and oth­ers can see your page.

As this is a Word­Press site I can only read Word­Press sites. If your blog is on Blog­ger sim­i­lar func­tion­al­i­ty exists for the sites you fol­low on Blog­ger. A pity nei­ther Word­Press nor Blog­ger recog­nise their com­peti­tor blogs. You can also add sites you fol­low to a feed read­er, like Feed­ly, Flip­board, or Feedspot.


How Long do People Stay?


Through all the sta­tis­tics avail­able the num­ber of pages peo­ple look at is inter­est­ing. For Gob­blede­Goox I cur­rent­ly obtain 1.9 page reads per vis­it. Know­ing how many pages peo­ple read per vis­it is help­ful. If your score is low, e.g. 1.01 would indi­cate that vis­i­tors are sim­ply read­ing the one post that ini­ti­at­ed their inter­est on your site and lit­tle else. One aspect I need to work on is the num­ber of pages my read­er­ship view, my cur­rent tar­get is to reach more than 2.

Some sites I have worked on get a score high­er than 2.5 pages per vis­i­tor. This is excel­lent news, but these are sites are com­pa­ny blogs and not a blog built by one person.


Most Popular Articles?


PopularWhat should you write more about? This is a fre­quent ques­tion that blog­gers ask. If you look at your sta­tis­tics, par­tic­u­lar­ly look­ing at the most pop­u­lar posts and pages it is pos­si­ble to see those that have dri­ven most inter­est. What has been you most pop­u­lar con­tent over all time? Is it the post on “How the Bea­t­les intro­duced you to Pop­u­lar Music” or “Mick Jagger’s love life”?

Know­ing this can help you plan what to write next, return­ing to suc­cess­ful sub­jects can help you dri­ve fur­ther read­er­ship. If you look at all time sta­tis­tics it tends to be the best guide here. The most pop­u­lar over all time for this site include:

Some of these are sub­jects I wish to cov­er again. Your most recent con­tri­bu­tions are unlike­ly to appear on top on the all time list because they have not had time to gath­er momen­tum. This is one rea­son to con­stant­ly ref­er­ence back to your ear­li­er posts.

At the oth­er end of the spec­trum are the sub­jects to avoid, those hav­ing the poor­est all-time readership.


The Source of your Readership


Know­ing the source of your read­ers can help you iden­ti­fy their needs. For exam­ple if many of your read­ers come from an on-line direc­to­ry then one option you may con­sid­er is adver­tis­ing in that pub­li­ca­tion. This may bring more readers.


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  2. […]   I have spent time test­ing this and know that social media posts do bring vis­i­tors. From research I have pre­vi­ous­ly shown that as much as 65% of traf­fic is from social media. But I also know that social media can at times be a fick­le mis­tress. Much depends on who visits […]

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